Johnny Depp gets all Edwardian

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Score 4

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Finding Neverland

On paper, Finding Neverland sounds like a typical Miramax period movie. Johnny Depp tries out yet another of his accents, this time as Peter Pan author JM Barrie, and Kate Winslet looks on lovingly in an Edwardian frock. But take a look and you’ll see it’s not anywhere near as sugary as it sounds. It’s suffused with melancholy and haunted by death, as is Barrie’s original play. The story tracks how Barrie came to write it, inspired by the widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Winslet) and her brood of four sons whom he befriends in a London park one day, out for a stroll to escape his social-climbing wife (Radha Mitchell). Although his bond with the family is platonic, rumours start swirling, suggesting his feelings for the widow?or even the boys! ?may not be strictly innocent. Depp underplays for once, letting the younger cast shine the more, especially Freddie Highmore as Peter Llewelyn Davies. Grainily shot with handheld cameras, it hardly looks like a costume drama and has the same pained honesty as Marc Forster’s previous film, Monster’s Ball.